Shoe Science

November 25, 2011
by Justin

My obsession with shoes began my fifth grade year. My elementary school had a strict uniform policy, so the only way to showcase my individual style, was to have the coolest shoes. At that time in Sacramento, Mitch Richmond was the local all star that came out with his own signature, Nike shoe. The Nike Uptempo came out right before school started and I had to have them. My mom took me to Champs in Arden Mall to go shoe shopping. I remember her giving me a strict budget of $100, which I thought was cruel and unusual punishment at the time. My only hope was that some Jordans were on sale, or maybe a discontinued pair of the coolest shoe available during the last Christmas was on clearance. My contingency plan was thrown to the wayside when I first laid eyes on the Uptempos. They had a full Nike Air bubble on the side and the Richmond’s nickname “Rock” stitched on the outside of each shoe. I will admit, at that time I was a shoe sensationalist. The $149 didn’t stop me from presenting my appeal to exceed the given budget in the Supreme Parental Court. My mom and I sat and negotiated the terms of me getting the shoes like a Collective Bargaining Agreement. It was all worth it. Those shoes made me feel like I was looking into the eyes of a unicorn; I had to have those shoes.

Welcome back to Shoe Science, a sport-specific sneaker resource. Shoe Science is provided to you by and your favorite shoe aficionado, Yorick Hempstead (me). Before this basketball shoe review, SS has dabbled on the well manicured grass of Golf ( Here are some of the hottest basketball shoes of 2011.



Nike has three of the biggest basketball players in the world on their main roster. Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and Lebron James all have several releases this year. Lebron’s fifth installment of his signature shoe, the Nike Soldier, has been one of the $90 million man’s highest selling shoes in his catalogue. Nike’s has introduced a new-generation shoe technology called the Flywire composite along with a Lightweight Phylon midsole with Max Air cushioning in the heel. This shoe tips the scales at 14.6 ounces. Here are some Nike basketball stars playing in a summer league game this last summer. You’ll notice that Lebron is wearing the Soldier Vs:



Adidas has emerged as an elite basketball, shoe source over the past few years. Major basketball stars like MVP Derrick Rose and Defensive Player of the year, Dwight Howard are their bread winners. Rose’s new shoe, the Adizero Rose II, is the brands most impressive. These shoes are incredibly light, just like his last release that was only 9.8 ounces. The design emphasizes traction and is made for fast and explosive basketball. Here is the new commercial for the shoe, shot in a bull-fighting stadium in Madrid:



Under Armour

Under Armour is a relative unknown in the basketball shoe world, but they are attempting to take on the big dogs with their former rookie of the year candidate, Brandon Jennings, and current rookie Derrick Williams. Brandon Jennings has made plenty of waves this offseason, with a brand of t-shirts and a few random statements taking shots at Kobe Bryant. Jennings also has a quality, wallet-friendly shoe that you can pick up for $90 at any local shoe store. The Under Armour brand is on the rise these days; here is Derrick Williams displaying how his brand keeps his game above the rim in the Elite 24 Dunk Contest:



We hope this review sheds some light, and will ultimately help you find a great shoe this season. The great thing about basketball shoes is that you can wear them year-around and even with shorts or jeans off the basketball court. The NBA may be locked out, but thank God that basketball never stops. This has been the Shoe Science, Basketball edition, and I’m Yorick Hempstead signing off.




Yorick Hempstead is an ex-college athlete who is a sports blogger for He is always talking sports on twitter @HempsteadHuddle.

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